Sunday, September 30, 2012

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Guide Report - September 30, 2012

I always feel bittersweet to report that another incredible guide season is coming to a close. To be honest I am tired and look forward to doing some of my own fall fishing but I do enjoy guiding this time of year the most. This is one of the greatest jobs out there and I feel very fortunate to be a member of the Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Industry. To do this job right requires major sacrifices and considerable daily focus that can be extremely redundant. Yet when rewards are paid they can come in big and include... the opportunity to know the western rivers intimately, holding beautiful wild trout daily, meeting a building relationships with anglers new and old, viewing wildlife or witnessing breathtaking vistas and SHARING all this and more with locals and visitors alike. 
Thanks to all for a great 2012!
We are still fishing and the Snake River is at its best in October until the major freeze hits, so far that is nowhere in sight. Cool nights have chilled the low flows of the river but late morning and afternoon fly fishing is very good with small to medium sized dry flies. Adams, mahoganies, ants, hoppers are all still working nicely on every section. In the mornings a small nymph dropper is picking up steady action in slow bubble lines... get out of the quick water!
A great friend and client, Skip Hildebrand and I enjoying some early fall hopper action.
Stunning fall colors set the backdrop for this young bull moose and family.                                     

Mayce and Beckett Maher spent a Sunday afternoon with me and my daughter Sydney in Grand Teton National Park... always fun to see the kids into fishing

Friday, September 14, 2012

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Guide's Report - September 15, 2012

One of the sure signs of the approaching autumn each year is a marked increase in wildlife sightings, a major boost to any day wether in route or on the water. Over the past week or two we have seen all the major large game animals of the area nearly daily, including 4 grizzly bears and 3 black bears. Bull moose, elk and mule deer bucks seem to be everywhere and help create and extraordinary experience for the GTNP visitor, topping off the trip with a few native cutthroat trout keeps everyone coming back for the best season of all. Welcome to autumn in the Tetons!
Two bull elk battle it out for the herd. 

This black bear was found gorging on berries streamside.

Two impressive mule deer bucks rest among some sage brush.
As for the fishing, we are in a late summer pattern that is holding strong with frosty mornings and very warm afternoons, often near 80. The action is starting mid-late morning and can go through the afternoon. Primarily fishing the Snake River and the South Fork after the Jackson Hole One Fly, flows on other area rivers are very low and could be explored with perhaps a single angler but when the large river is in its prime why go elsewhere? Look for mahoganies, hecuba drakes and still a few tricos and late brown stones. Terrestrial fishing is holding up as always and is the best most days after 1pm.
The One Fly went well this year for me on Dam to Pacific Creek. I had my guys fish a small terrestrial dry fly and a small mohair streamer each day. The streamer out fished the dry only because the conditions have been bright for so long the trout feeding on the surface are sipping in shallow flat water where they can be ultra selective and nervous. Hook ups were nice fish but hard to keep buttoned, disappointing in this event but everyone on every section had the same or similar experience. The streamer bite was good in deep runs and among timber but required constant work and focus... some days you have to talk them into it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Guide's Report - September 4, 2012

It is amazing how every year the Snake River comes into its absolute prime the week of the Jackson Hole One Fly. One of the Nation's finest dry fly rivers is in top shape for the annual event, held every year the weekend after Labor Day. Over the years I have guided every section in GTNP during this tournament except the section below Jackson Lake Dam to Pacific Creek. Well, after Joe Burke retired Bruce asked if I was interested in taking his place on this "unique" section of the Snake River... I accepted! This section is mesmerizing and I have seen it completely explode with high quality dry fly, sight fishing! If you know me its the best, but can become a tiring snout hunt... better than blind fishing for 8 hrs. in my opinion and we shall see how the weekend goes. It will either pay off well or end in a fiery crash.
Skip Hildebrand enjoying some low water hopper action.
Phil Cohen hoisting one of his best browns of the day, 21"!
 Topping off a great week I headed over to the WRIR with friends John and Shane Campbell, a father and son duo that I have been fishing with for nearly 10 years. Each year my goal is to introduce them to new water in our region and push our angling parameters to limits. This year the Wind River did not give up her best easily, in fact we struggled with wind, low water and low aggression trout but the wildness of the area can surpass those superficial traits of our sport and revealed deeper qualities that often get overlooked, like the sunset below. We did find some outstanding specimens to take our flies adding to the whole experience further... thanks again guys!
Nothing quite like a late take-out in Crowheart, WY.                                   
John and Shane admiring a 23"chrome rainbow that tested every skill set, nice work!